Thursday, August 28, 2014

Building with Daddy!

It all started a few months ago when I was looking for fun summer things to do in the area to post on the Just Between Friends Pittsburgh North & East facebook page and realize that this would be something Victoria would love to do…build a bug house at the Kids Workshop at the Home Depot.


We had to register for the event in advance, and I was really sure what to expect. It says that the workshop is recommended for ages 5 & up, but read several reviews that stated a 3 yr old would still have fun.  Victoria has been a big fan of catching lightning bugs this summer, actually any kind of bug, so this was perfect for her.

We all loaded up in the car and headed to Home Depot that morning.  The event was being held outside, by the main entrance.  Everything was set up and ready for the kids, I appreciated an organized event after the Frozen debacle we went to a few weeks ago. 




Now giving a three year old a hammer is risky business, but she handled it like a total champ and with daddy’s help, she made the most beautiful bug house!!  We decided against the paint this time (and after looking at a few other bug houses where their parents allowed the paint to happen, hot mess!).   Victoria and Greg were such fans of this little bonding experience, they have decided to make this a monthly daddy/daughter outing.  So guess where they will be on the first Saturday of every month??


The following month they were back at it again, only this time Mia and I stayed home.  My only request was that he take pictures and he looked at me like a was nuts.  He wasn’t sure how he was going to have the time to take pictures and help Victoria build, but he figured it out, because I got these great shots of their time together, making a pencil holder.  He even allowed her to use the paint! Brave Daddy!!

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Victoria loves collecting the pins after each project for her apron! There was one girl there that had almost her entire apron covered in pins, I feel like that could be Victoria in a few years. She loves to build and I love that she gets to spend this time with her daddy! They are looking forward to next month!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kennywood 2014


Over a month ago my brother, mom and stepdad were in town and we took the kiddos to Kennywood.  The last time we were there was the previous summer when V was only 2 yrs old and little Amelia was only a few weeks old in my belly.  We spent the majority of our time in Kiddie Land, I am pretty sure she rode every single ride, twice.  You can reminisce on that experience here! 


This year was a totally different story.  We had her measured before entering the park and she was a little over 37inches,  we had her hand stamped so that she would not have to be measured at every single ride, just had to show her stamp.   This opened a whole new window of rides outside Kiddie Land for her to experience, including a roller coaster!

We started out in Kiddie Land, but we did not spend much time there this year.



We soon headed to Ghostwood Estates where the ride itself wasn’t bad because you are shooting ghosts with lasers to try to beat your partner’s score, but the line going into the ride I thought was a little scary for a 3 year old.  But not for my 3 year old, she walked right into the dark haunted mansion where a creepy guy on the wall explained how to engage and shoot the ghosts.  Victoria rode with Uncle Eric (as she rode most rides with him) and away they went shooting their ghosts. She loved this ride!


We also rode a few wet rides, she went on the Raging Rapids, the Log Jammer and attempted the Pittsburgh Plunge, but decided right before getting on that she was not interested.  It was a good thing she was okay with most water rides because we picked the most humid day of the summer to go to Kennywood.

log jammer

Then it was time to gear up for the Jack Rabbit, the only big roller coaster Victoria was tall enough to ride. I was nervous as we waited in line with her, having no idea how it would go.  Victoria was all about it, she showed zero signs of hesitation.  I wanted Greg to ride with her on this one, and I very nervously sat in the seat behind them.  Victoria said several times in line that the coaster would go “up, up, up and then down, down, down”, so I think she had an idea, but still I was more scared than she was.  As we climbed the first hill I saw her little arms go up in the air, just like everyone else in front of her, and I screamed at Greg to hold her down!!!  After that first hill she was all laughs, loving every minute of that coaster and putting her hands up for more hills. I could not believe my eyes!  I know my daughter is fearless, but thought the line would be drawn somewhere, apparently it is not at roller coasters.  She asked to ride on it again and then we tried for a third time later in the evening, but it was closed for the night. 


This picture was taken after her 1st roller coaster ride, she was all smiles!!

Then we headed over to the carousel for a family ride on the horses.


We were all over that park, for it being as hot as it was the kids were excellent.  We even got Amelia to take a small nap in her stroller.  Victoria had fun taking turns riding with Grammy, Papa, and Uncle Eric.







It started to get late, so Greg took Amelia home and the rest of us stayed and shut the park down that night!  The crowds were not bad all day and then after dinner people really cleared out, so we were able to just walk on a lot of the rides.




It was a great day and night at Kennywood with our family! We are already looking forward to next year!!


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

JBF Favorite Finds at the Fall Sale in Monroeville!

Last week, while all of my teacher friends headed back to the classroom and my students started another year of high school, I was busy helping setup, run and take down the JBF Pittsburgh East Fall Sale ! I spent almost every day last week in Monroeville (with the exception of a wedding at PNC Park on Saturday, more on that in another post!).

I learned to do many jobs last week, set up, inspection (every single article of clothing and every pair of shoes at the sale is inspected before going on the sales floor), helped pull recalls from the sales floor, cashier, shifting clothes (probs my least fav task), condensing and rearranging the sales floor, social mediaing, second drop off help, break down, sorting, and checking out consignors when they came to pick up leftover items.  I also squeezed in an Ice Bucket Challenge around 1am one night! Ha. 

I knew a lot of work went into the JBF consignment sale, but now after being there all week, I have an even better idea!  Selling 55,000+ items that are 50-90% off is not an easy task, but the people I worked with were great and made it a fun experience!

I hosted the “Back to School Bargains” twitter party on Wednesday night of the sale, tweeting information about the sale, asking fun questions and giving away some great prizes!  I also shared a lot of Back-to-School photos. We also hosted several contests on Facebook, especially on Fridays, we had Freebie Fridays and thought of creative ways to giveaway Presale Passes!  We reached over 5,000 likes during the sale and had over 200 shares on our sale weekend fb post.  We also Instagramed a ton of photos from the sale.  It was a busy weekend for social media!

On Thursday morning, I found an hour to shop before it was back to work! I found some great deals, along with all the items on my list! (and a few extras of course).  I was on the hunt for holiday attire, basically anything priced right and in the correct sizes. V was wearing Halloween stuff at 6m, well, Mia has passed her up and needs 9m clothing.  Christmas will be more of the same, V was in 9m, and Mia I am sure will be in 12m by then.


I bought everything in the picture for $21!


Missing from the photo is Victoria’s Thanksgiving outfit, it was my favorite clothing find of the sale! I spent $14 on three outfits for Thanksgiving!


I love when I find matching items at the sale, those green dresses cost a total of $9.50! Greg’s favorite was the Elf on the Shelf pajamas for $4!  The reindeer footie sleeper was only $2.50!


I am loving the Minnie Mouse fleece jacket (from Disney World Resort!), and the GAP hoodie for $5!  The two piece “little sister” Gymboree outfit was only $5.


I was really excited to find a new Christening dress in the size I needed for Amelia for only $10!  Do you know how hard it is to find a Christening dress for 9m or larger??!!


I grabbed this Sit n Stand stroller for only $15!!  We do not need another stroller, I actually took 3 strollers to the sale to sell, but I could not pass up the price, so it came home with me!!


Amelia approves of her walker for $13! Excellent condition!


I am always on the lookout for snow boots at the fall sales, my favorite kid’s boots are Lands End snow boots, they are so perfect for kids and the quality is top notch (the $7 price at JBF makes them perfect for me!)  I also grabbed these adorable crocs rain boots for $8.  Who knew crocs made boots?!


Lastly, a tot clock, which retails for $50+, I found it for only $7!!  We absolutely swear by this clock, it has changed our life, we paid full price for Victoria’s clock, but I was happy to grab this one for a friend!!


In addition to having fun volunteering and shopping at JBF Pittsburgh East, I also learned sooo much about consigning.  I feel that information is enough for it’s own post.  I consigned for the first time during this sale and it was so fun to watching people come through the checkout line with my stuff!  I was so, sooo, happy with my sales from Presale Day, they topped out at over $300, and the sale was not even officially open to the public yet.  As the days went on, my sales continued to grow, I made almost double what my goal was for this sale!  I had 362 items and I sold 227, selling 60% of my stuff!  I know exactly why the stuff I brought home didn’t sell, and will be fixing it all for the next fall sale at the RMU Sports Dome on Neville Island, Sept. 19-21st!  Will YOU be at the next sale?!

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